A former U.S. Forces Korea civilian employee pleaded guilty last Thursday to conspiring to defraud the United States of more than $300,000, according to a Justice Department news release.

Fidel Diaz, 49, of Visalia, Calif., entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Washington. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a three-year term of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

Diaz was employed by the Defense Department as the chief of the Supply and Storage Division for the U.S. Army, Department of Public Works, USFK.

According to the release, Diaz and co-conspirators defrauded the Army of thousands of dollars between 2002 and 2004 while at Camp Giant.

Diaz admitted to violating DOD contracting rules and falsifying purchasing documents, according to the release. In his guilty plea, he admitted he purchased $309,978.58 in nonexistent electrical transformers from two co-conspirators with his and his subordinates’ government credit cards. In exchange, the release stated, the co-conspirators paid him more than $200,000.

James A. Crowell IV and John P. Pearson of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Los Angeles Office of the FBI and the Seattle office of the Army Criminal Investigation Division. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

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